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Texas students cancel ‘illegal immigrant game’

AUSTIN, Texas — A conservative student group at the University of Texas canceled their ‘‘Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game’’ on Tuesday, saying they feared retaliation by campus officials and counterprotests that could endanger their volunteers.

In the event that had been planned for Wednesday, members of the Young Conservatives of Texas would have worn signs that said ‘‘illegal immigrant’’ and offered $25 gift cards to students who caught them and turned them in to the club.

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Group chairman Lorenzo Garcia acknowledged the idea was ‘‘over the top’’ but said students should ‘‘not be silenced when they attempt to make their voices heard about an issue that is so important to our futures.’’

‘‘I believed that our event would spark this discussion on campus,’’ he said. ‘‘I hope that the publicity surrounding the event will create debate among students.’’

The Texas Dream Act allows students who were brought to the United States
illegally as children to pay in-state tuition at public universities, a provision many Republicans want to repeal. Such students sometimes rally in support of the federal Dream Act that could provide them with a path to citizenship.

Several groups had planned to protest the game. A Latino activist group in favor of a more open immigration policy had promised to hand out free ‘‘illegal immigrant’’ signs to students so they could collect the gift cards.

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